modern liquors

posted by catherine / February 27, 2006 /

this article is a couple of weeks old and probably many of you saw it already, but i just wanted to note it. it's about modern liquors, the liquor store a couple of blocks up from tommy and charles' apartment in shaw. and it is the best. the guy who works the counter there is the sweetest; they hold wine tastings every once in a while; and best of all, you don't feel like some shady, gross crack ho prostitute when you go in there to buy stuff. it's nice, and clean and well-lit. etc. a model liquor store!

but as the article shows, it didn't always used to be that way.

To make a living, Ed and Anna Fleming did whatever it took. When customers paid by pulling crumpled dollar bills out of their shoes, Ed and Anna would dip each buck into a big jug of green disinfectant. Half a dozen times a year, the place was held up. Anna had a gun pointed at her 15 times. Once, Ed was shot right through the groin. The bullet hole remains in the back wall.

Modern Liquors never generated the easy money associated with liquor stores. Not at Ninth and M streets NW. In the four decades since Ed Fleming bought the place, the city tore down blocks of rowhouses to build a college campus that never happened; homeless people were kept for years in trailers on a vast parking lot; the streets were closed off in the early 1990s to dig Metro tunnels; and the Flemings' block was turned into a construction site through the late '90s to put up the convention center.

Customers who managed to get to Modern tended to be winos and druggies. The bestsellers were 32-ounce bottles of King Cobra malt liquor, pints of Wild Irish Rose and half-pints of Velicoff vodka, Skid Row's finest.

Then, over the past few years, the storm surge of gentrification hit Shaw, just north of downtown Washington.

blah blah gentrificationcakes blah. anyway, modern liquors is awesome, so if you need to grab some booze while in that area (9th and M streets NW) i highly recommend it.

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